Growing up with folks who hunt and fish, I should have understood the excitement when Cabela’s Outfitters announced the opening of their store in the mountains of Hamburg, Pa. in 2003.
I did not.
When I made Cabela’s part of my Wednesday walking routine, I understood.
It has been called a “High Temple of Taxidermy”, proudly displaying trophies from local and international hunters.
As one who always espoused the “Run, Bambi, Run” school of thought, I was a bit freaked out at first, especially walking through the Deer Country exhibit. These beautiful animals roam the woods very near my home.
The African diorama shown goes well into the 3-story ceiling, almost too massive to photograph.
As with the polar exhibit, animals are featured in lifelike poses.
The store also features a 55,000 gallon walk-through aquarium with local aquatic life, an interactive shooting gallery, a gun library with antique firearms, a cafeteria that serves game meat entrees, extensive camping gear, clothing, shoes, and a favorite for me..the homemade fudge shop.
The longest lines are, no doubt, for the sale of guns and ammunition. I walk through that area, and don’t make much eye contact. Not a fan.
As a tourist attraction, it has drawn restaurants, hotels, hardware stores, Walmart, etc. to a mostly rural community; an economic boom for this area just off a major interstate highway.
For me, it is just a fascinating walk.